“Many believe that marketing and advertising are the same thing– yet there’s a big difference between the two and marketing when done well, will often make your advertising more effective,” explains marketing expert James Dewane.
As a self-employed tradesperson you’ve no doubt put ads in the local papers, industry related magazines or used flyers and leaflets. Maybe you’ve tried your hand at Google ads, Facebook ads or bought a list of leads to call, but, are you getting the response rate you want or even the right customers? Is work often ‘feast or famine’?
Most people, especially those just starting out in business, think that advertising is what they have to do to get the work, but advertising is only one part of the story. Many believe that marketing and advertising are the same thing– yet there’s a big difference between the two and marketing when done well, will often make your advertising more effective.
What most people don’t realise is that like it or not you are marketing from the day you open for business. Everything you say and do is marketing; from the work clothes you wear, to the things you post on social media and the van you drive. This is all a form of marketing you probably don’t even realise you are doing. And as a result you may be giving the wrong or a confusing message.
“Everything you say and do is marketing; from the work clothes you wear, to the things you post on social media and the van you drive.”
From the outset you need to make sure that you are getting the right message out, you need to actively control that message and ensure it’s consistent and gets to the right people in order to bring you the business from the kind of customers you want to work with.
While advertising is about selling, marketing your business is all about building relationships with your potential customers so that they quickly get to know, like and trust you. Each of your marketing activities should focus on those three things ask yourself…
- Is this activity helping to introduce me (my company) to new potential customers?
- Is this activity making it easy for potential customers to approach/like me (my company)?
- Is this activity helping to build trust in me (my company)?
Marketing is not just creating a logo and an advert that says ‘call me’. There are lots of aspects to marketing, for example,
- Do people see you as the local expert in your trade?
- Do you really know your niche market?
- Who are your customers, where can you find them?
- Have you truly defined and understood your ideal customer?
- What makes them an ideal fit for you?
- Do you know the best way to connect with your customer?
- Do you have a system in place to track what marketing works and what doesn’t?
These are just a handful of the things to consider when you are looking to generate new business or to keep and get much more business from your existing customers, while ensuring they are extremely happy and recommending you as the ‘go-to’ person in your local area.
Marketing is inexpensive as I said at the outset, you are marketing whether you like it or not. However marketing, done well, will help you to create and keep many more customers than any expensive advert!